Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One foot in front of the other

We take our steps one at a time, listening for God's direction. Sometimes it seems it would be a good idea to be blindfolded so that the steps we take are not our own and we would be forced to fully rely on God to lead us. That is not His way though. He allows us to blunder along sometimes tripping over our own feet, creating our own obstacle course. This is because He loves us so much that He wants us to freely choose to follow Him.

On the mission field it is no different. There are times we have to stop and listen because we can get so caught up in the needs around us that we lose sight of the step God wants us to take.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” -Proverbs 3:5

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Being Available

As we start each day with plans, we often have to change them. God has plans of his own and sometimes we just have to be available. When we are available we can witness the miraculous, wonderful nature of God.

Sometimes being available isn't convenient. Sometimes we are busy and in the middle of other things that are important. But I promise you that if you become available and start listening to the direction that God is leading you, you will see with such clear vision the pieces of the puzzle being put together. We had two such instances happen within two days of eachother just this week.

On Friday, our nurse Beatrice told us she was heading to the village Cabo for the bi-monthly malnutrition clinic she was doing with some mothers whose children were not thriving. Mike went with her a month ago and it was amazing to see the progress that the children were making. I wanted to go with her on this visit so Mike and I, along with one of our short term visitors Linda got in the car with Bea and headed out of town.

Approaching Cabo is a beautiful sight. There are mountains in the distance and this time of the year everything is very green because of the rainfall. We arrived at the church and the pastor informed us that there was something happening at the hospital so many of the mothers went there.We only had a few mothers waiting for us. We set up chairs and the scale to weigh the babies inside the church and one at a time, they came in. When the third mother came in we could see that the baby not in very good shape. Skin was wrinkled and loose. It hurt our hearts to see this. Then it became evident that the mother was also not well physically. Her breathing was labored and her clothes hung on her tiny, frail frame. We asked Bea to ask her if she had been enough food. We know it is hard for many this time of year because last years growing season did not produce enough crops. They talked for a long time and Bea's eyes got very moist. This is significant becuse the Burkinabe typically do not show much emotion. She explained to us that the woman got sick and her husband left her. She was living with family but they could not help her much with food. She herself was too sick to work. She was going without food and her family could not give her the money for medicine. Her pastor has helped with what he could. With her consent we brought her and her baby back with us to Yako. We told her that we would take her to the hospital and that the baby could stay with us at the orphanage while she received the care she needed. On the way we purchased her a meal, the most food she had eaten in days. It was clear to us that God had us there at just the right time. I don't think this woman or her baby would have survived much longer.

Yesterday we had two food distributions in two different locations. Our pastor who heads up these distributions had to go about 8 hours away to care for his mother who is in the hospital. Ruth left for Ouaga to pick up two girls who will be volunteering at the orphanage for a few months. We had the truck and our motos to get to and from the distributions. In between distributions we got a call that there was a baby about 30 miles away whose mother died and she had nobody to care for her. Mike, one of our baby caregivers and our orphanage manager (who speaks some english) jumped in the truck and went to get her. Timing was crazy. We had no idea how we were going to manage getting to the other distribution. But even though the timing was not convenient, God knew where we needed to be. They picked up this adorable little one day old baby and brought her back. We are not sure if she will stay with us long term because there is still some investigation to be done. When a mother dies there is nobody to feed the baby. Milk is very expensive and families cannot afford it. Many times the babies are left to die. If there is a family member who is capable of caring for the baby and we can help them with milk, then she may be leaving. If we find that there is nobody to care for her then we keep her at the orphanage with the possibility of adoption in her future. Either way, God has a special plan for this precious angel. Mike also got back with thirty minute to spare so we were able to get to the next distribution and deliver grain to families in need.

Each day we just have to remember, God's plan and not our own and be available when he calls us.